Serve with Joy – Operation Christmas Child Weekly Countdown: 8!

2015 OCC Countdown 8

Setting goals is the fun part. What happens when reality meets paper? 🙂

How many weeks do we have to pack shoeboxes? 8!

Sometimes we have big goals and small results.

Sometimes we have small goals and big results.

Why You Should Love Setting Goals

I love setting goals!

Goals help us carry through when circumstances beyond our control take the steering wheel of life.

Sometimes those circumstances change the goals. And sometimes the goals just needed tweaking because they were crazy goals.

Crazy Goals

When I first began my post-homeschooling sabbatical, I had a goal: serve 12 charities – one a month for a year – developing and sharing two new crochet patterns per charity. That’s only 24 patterns. No problem!

Goals Meet Reality

The problem arrived with a new favorite friend: Reality.

Reality puts breaks on our goals’ gas pedal making us slow it down to remain reasonably sane.

When Reality steps in, sometimes we have to face the nemesis of our friend Reality: Guilt.

Facing Guilt

Facing guilt – and the personifications of guilt – has been a struggle since I was born. See, my birth wasn’t met with 100% of the popular vote.

Big Guilt

So there were times (are times?) the necessity of my very existence has been in question. At least in my mind. And yet I’m here, so I figure there must be a plan, even if I can’t see it. Or understand it.

That’s the big guilt – existence: taking up breathing space on an expedient-to-our-culture’s-values-so-I-use-the-word “crowded” planet.

Small Guilts

But then there are the small guilts.

Like reality cutting into our numbers. Like those 24 patterns for 12 charities.

Like serving with peace.

And serving with joy.

Growing up, I often heard: “Wipe that grin off your face! Who died and gave you the right to be happy?”

Uh, Jesus. Red heart

But I didn’t know it was Jesus until I turned 20. All those years I was happy and I didn’t know He Who Gave Me the Right to be Happy. I just was.

Serving Reality with Guilt or Joy?

So, if He died to give me the right to be happy, why serve with guilt when we can serve with joy?

To unveil, I’m not always LOL-ing and I’m not always as happy as a clam at high tide. But I can serve with joy regardless of my happiness.

We can trade guilt (or sadness or fear or ?) for joy in serving.

Serve with Joy_No Guilt

Application to Operation Christmas Child

How does this apply to shoeboxes for children around the world?

  • When we give out of love, we have joy.
  • When we give out of pressure, guilt screams we aren’t doing “enough.”

How many times has guilt paralyzed us into doing nothing?

“If I can’t do it big, I won’t do it at all. So there. Hrumph.”

Who says small isn’t enough?

He Who is Just Right

Joy, the Flip Side of Guilt

Are your shoebox joy seams busting at the lid?

Do you have so much joy in serving you want to do more?  That’s the time to step up the serving!


Serving isn’t a cure for guilt.

Serving is a fruit of our joy in the Lord.

Operation Christmas Child offers many ways to funnel that joy through helping!

It’s Your Turn

What brings you great joy?

  • Crafting?
  • Wrapping shoeboxes in colorful paper?
  • Shopping for bar soap?
  • Crocheting?
  • Blogging?
  • Praying?
  • Donating money?
  • Finding deals on dolls?
  • Loading trucks?
  • {fill in the blank}

Use your joys to serve the God of joy!


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